15 Ways the Internet Changed Marketing
Of all the inventions in the last 50 years, few have changed the world as much as the Internet. Destroying mail, books, television and dignity, life has changed much thanks to our electronic friend. Here are 15 ways, for better or for worse, the Internet has changed marketing.
Write a great book and no one may read it. Direct an amazing play and few people may see it. Hit yourself with a hammer and put it on YouTube? You’ll probably have a million hits in two days. By co-opting idiocy, YouTube has revolutionized the commercial by turning it into the “non-commercial”.
You’d probably rarely visit a store that sold only Old Spice or only one kind of beer, but thanks the Internet tubes, product websites are a reality. Whether you want to learn the history of the company that makes your favorite whiskey or just play a flash game involving a cartoon you can’t stop watching, product websites are a non-stop commercial, 24/7.
Why drone on and on about your product, when you can get one of the customers to do it for you? From donuts to tires or something else round with a hole in it, free advertising is as easy as falling off a roof on YouTube. As long as hipsters have free time and appreciate things ironically, there will always be one of them ready to blog for freebies.
Spam is the scourge of the Inbox, but it also works. Playing the odds by hiring some computer hacker that lives in Outer Mongolia to email everyone on the planet about your product will actually find the 10,000 or so who click on anything. Just ask those Nigerian princes that keep contacting you.
Want 500 million potential new customers? Facebook has them. Oh, sure, they spend all day emailing their friends and posting pictures they took at the bar on Friday when they should be working, but they’ll also click on ads. Hey, anything’s better than actually working.
Google ads work by scanning a webpage, finding key words and then matching those words to available ads. What that means is sometimes Tea Party websites that refer to the term “teabagger” get interesting results for their ads.
Wikipedia is like an online dictionary you can change to better describe your products. Oh, sure, anyone can change the entry and sometimes Stephen Colbert will have some fun with it, but it’s another website everyone eventually uses. It’s like having Mr. Webster as your employee!
Not every thought is fit for a Facebook update or LiveJournal post, for those sub-par thoughts, there’s twitter. Whether it’s mentioning your new product is on sale for the third time or how weird that guy in shipping with the bug eyes looks, Twitter can consolidate pointless babble into additional traffic for your website.
As it turns out, email wasn’t fast enough. The Internet needed something that actually allowed you to know that you were getting a reply back. Instant Messaging is a great way to tell customers about your products without them knowing you’re a shill. “Why, yes, I like dogs too. Have you ever thought about how your dog would live after you’re gone? Maybe you should get full coverage life insurance!” And hey, don’t worry, if you have a clumsy segway or 100, there’s always another lonely person ready to chat!
In the past, video conferencing was something only seen on the Jetsons or Star Trek. Now it’s as easy as getting a Skype account and making sure you have pants on when you’re telecommuting from home. Whether your staff is in Cairo, London and New York at the same time, no problem. Just remember, no teleconferencing in your flying car.
TV on the Internet
Who has time to watch TV? And who has time to Tivo everything? Thanks to the Internet, you can catch just about any show online. So if you don’t have the money to buy an ad on the Super Bowl, you can buy a cheaper ad on the online video of the Super Bowl on the Internet. And the best part? That commercial and Super Bowl is around 24/7, even when football fans should be working.
Remember those addictive video games from the 80’s that took years to develop? Now teenagers build and post them within a day. And not only can you buy ads on them, with a little money you can have a custom-made game with your product.
Not everyone spends all day on the Internet. Additionally, if you have minor problems with your product, a message board becomes a good way to archive those alternate instructions that your customers can access at any time.
Remember back in the day when you had to carry binders, charts and all kinds of props to a meeting? Now with Powerpoint and similar software, you just email it ahead of you. Like magic, your entire proposal can plop down into your client’s email, while you can spend more time lining up the next one. Put it on a website and the Powerpoint runs non-stop attracting clients for you. Finally, you have a reason to fire your sales team.
Big Brother used to mean hired goods, oppressive lighting and expensive uniforms, now it’s just a click away! Tired of your employees updating their Facebook status and watching porn? Now you can spy on them 24/7. Your constant vigilance will can turn your worker’s lives into the Dickenisan nightmare you’ve always dreamed!